Yeah. Hey, can you hear me? Can you hear me? You hear me okay. Congratulations.
Plaza Class Thousand 2015. It you guys and gals and young men and women are the reason I'm here. Really going forward to talking with y'all tonight. You heard my dad played football here and I believe even graduated from here as the Mexican sent it for me to come. Short and sweet, long and salty. A sugar doughnut or some oatmeal. Out of respect for you and your efforts in getting your degree. I've thought long and hard about what I could share with you tonight.
Did I want to stand up here to podium and read you your rights? Did I want to come up here to share some funny stories? I thought about what you would want. I thought about what you might need. I also thought about what I want to say and what I need to say. Hopefully we're both gonna be happy on both accounts. As the saying goes, take what you like. Leave the rest. Thank you for having me.
So before I share with you some what I do knows. I want to talk with you about what I don't know. I have two older brothers. One was at high school in the early 1970s, and this was a time when a high school g.d got you a job. Not in a college degree was exemplary. My other brother Pat was in high school in the early 80s. And by this time the g.d wasn't enough to guarantee employment. He needed a college degree.
And if you got one, you had a pretty good chance of getting the kind of job that you wanted after you graduated. Not me. I graduated high school in 1988, got my college degree in nineteen ninety three, and that college degree in 93 did not mean as much. It was not a ticket, it was not a voucher, was not a free pass. Go to anything. So I asked the question, what does your college degree mean?
It means you got an education, means you have more knowledge in a specific subject vocation. It means you may have more expertise in what your degree is in. But what's the worth in the job market out there today? We know the market for college graduates is more competitive now than ever. Now, some of you already have a job lined up. You've got a path where today's jobs going to become tomorrow's career. But for most of you, the future is probably still pretty fuzzy.
You don't have that job that directly reflects the degree you just got. Many of you don't even have a job at all thinking that you've just completed your scholastic education curriculum in life, the one that you started when you were five years old in kindergarten. Up until now. And your future. May not be any more clear than it was five years ago. You don't have the answers and it's probably pretty damn scary. And I say that's OK because that is how it hits.
This is the reality that many of you are facing. This is the world that we live in. And while I'm not here to discourage you or in any way belittle your accomplishments tonight, which I'd like to applaud that one more time. You graduated. I now I'm not here to be a downer on that. Let's get that straight. But I am here to talk brass tacks. I want to skip the flattery and the atom boys, because I do know this.
The sooner that we become less impressed with our life, with our accomplishments, with our career, with whatever that prospect is in front of us, the sooner we become less impressed and more involved with that. And these things. The sooner we get a whole lot better at doing. So I'm going to talk to you about some things I've learned in my journey, most from experience, some of my hard and passing, many of my I'm still practicing, but all of them, I do believe, are true.
Now, they may be true to me, but don't think that that makes them mine because you cannot own a truth. So please think of these as signpost approaches paradigms. That gives some science the satisfaction that your steel used to share, likened to your own lives to personally apply in your own lives, in your own way, should you choose to. So here we go. No one should come up on the Jumbotron. Life's not easy. Is it up there?
Life is not easy. It is not. Don't try to make it that way. Life's not fair. Never was it? Is it now? And it won't ever be. Do not fall into the trap. The entitlement trap of feeling like you're a victim. You are not yet over it and get on with it. And yes, most things are more rewarding when you break a sweat to get them.
Fact number two, I love this. Unbelievable. Is this stupid is where the dictionary should never come out of our mouths.
Think about it to say, oh, wow, what an unbelievable play. It was an unbelievable book. Unbelievable film.
An unbelievable act of courage. It may be spectacular, it may be phenomenal. Most excellent or outstanding, but unbelievable. Give others and yourself more credit. It just happened. You witnessed it. You just did it. Believe it.
What about the other side of unbelievable? You know that that side when we humans underperform or act out of our best character. For instance, man flies a suicide jet into the World Trade Center. Millions die from diseases every day that we have cures for. Bob the builder swears that he's going to have your house built by Thanksgiving and you can't move in until Christmas the next year. Our best friends lie to us. And we lie to ourselves all the time.
Unbelievable. I don't think so. Again, it just happens and it happens every day. Nothing that we homosapien earthlings do is unbelievable. And if there's one thing you can depend on people being. So we shouldn't be surprised we us are the trickiest mammals walking the planet. I'm not worried about the monkeys. I'm worried about you and me. So acknowledge the Axum greatness as real and do not be naive about mankind's capacity for evil nor be in denial of our own shortcomings.
Happiness is an emotional response to an outcome. If I win, I will be happy. If I don't. I won't. It's an if then. Cause and effect. Quid pro quo. Standard that we cannot sustain because we immediately raise it every time we attain it. You see happiness. Happiness demands a certain outcome. It is result reliant. And I say, if happiness is what you're after, then. You're gonna be let down frequently and you're gonna be unhappy.
Much of your time. Joy that joy is a different thing. It's something else. Joy is not a choice. It's not a response to some results. It's a constant. Joy, is the feeling that we have from doing what we are fashioned to do no matter the outcome. Now, personally, as an actor, I started enjoying my work and literally being more happy when I stopped trying to make the daily Labor a means to a certain in.
For example, I need this film to be a box office success. I need my performance to be acknowledged. I need the respect of my peers. All those are reasonable aspirations, but the truth is, as soon as the work, the daily making of the movie, the doing of the deed became the reward in itself for me, I have more box office, more accolades and respect than I ever had before. See, joy is always in process.
It's under construction. It is in constant approach alive and well in the doing of what we're fashion to do and enjoying. Number four. Define success for yourself. You already look down. Define success for yourself. Check this out. I'm in the south New Orleans. A few years ago, I went to a voodoo shop and they had this this this wooden partition against the wall. These columns and in these columns or these vials of these magic potion.
Right. And the headings above each potion, defining what they would give you were things like fertility, health, family, legal hell, energy forgiveness, money. Yes. Which column was empty? Monday, I have to admit it. Money is king today is what make the world makes the world go round. It is success. The more we have, the more successful we are. Right. Now, I would argue that our cultural values have even been financialized, financialized.
Humility is not in vogue anymore. It's too passive. It's a get rich quick on the Internet riches, 15 minutes of fame world that we live in and we see it every day. But we all want to succeed. Right. So the question that we've got to ask ourselves is what success is to us? What success is to you? Is it more money as fine? I got nothing against money. I don't. Maybe it's a healthy family.
Maybe it's a happy marriage. Maybe it's to help others to be famous, to be spiritually sound. To leave the world a little bit better place than you found it. Continue to ask yourself that question. Now, your answer may change over time and that's fine, but do yourself this favor.
Whatever your answer is, don't choose anything that will jeopardize your soul. Prioritize who you are, who you want to be, and don't spend time with anything that antagonizes your character. Don't drink the Kool-Aid. It tastes sweet, but you will get cavities tomorrow. Life is not a popularity contest. Be brave. Take the Hill. But first, answer that question. What's my hill? So me, how do I fight? How do I define success for me, myself?
Well, for me, it's a measurement of five things. We got fatherhood. We got being a good husband. We got my health, mind, body and spirit. We got career and we have friendships. These are what's important to me in my life right now. So I try to measure these five things. Each day I check in with them. I like to see whether or not I'm in the the debit section or the credit section with each one.
Am I in the in the red or I'm in the black?
You follow, for instance, sometimes say my career's rolling. All right. It's way up here in the black, but I see my relationship with my wife. Maybe you could use a little bit more of my attention. I got to pick up the slack on being a better husband. Get that one out of the red or say my spiritual health could use some maintenance. It's down here. But a man, my friendships in my social life, they're in high gear.
All right. I've got to recalibrate. Checks and balances. I got to go to church. Remember to say thank you more often something.
But I've got to take the tally because I want to keep all five in healthy shape. And I know that if I don't take care of them, if I don't keep up maintenance on them, one of them is gonna get weak, man. It's gonna dip too deep into the debit section. It's gonna go bankrupt. It's gonna get sick. Die.
So first, we have to define success for ourselves and then we have to put in the work to maintain it. Take that daily tally. 10. Aagaard Keep the things that are important to us in good shape. Let let let's admit it. We've all got two wolves in a good one and a bad and they both want to eat. The best I can tell, we just got a feed that goes a little more than the other one. Here we go.
No far. Process of elimination is the first step to our identity, a.k.a. where you are not is as important as where you are.
All right. Nineteen ninety two, I got my first job as an actor. Three lines, three days work in a film called Dazed and Confused.
All right, all right. All right, all right. There we go.
So this director of that film, Richard Linklater, he kept invite me back to set each night, putting me in more scenes, which led to more lines, all of which I happily said yes to. I mean, I'm having a blast. People are telling me I'm good at what I'm doing and they're writing me a check for three hundred twenty five dollars a day. I mean, hell, yeah. Give me more scenes. I love what I'm doing.
Well, by the end of the shoot, I mean, the film, those three lines had turned into over three weeks worth. And it was mine.
It was wooderson 1970 Chevelle that we went to go get Aerosmith tickets, man. As bad as well.
Few years ago, I'm watching this film again and I noticed two scenes. I really shouldn't have been in. And one of these scenes, my character wooderson, I actually screen left to head somewhere and then I re-enter the screen and double check if any of the other characters wanted to go with me now in rewatching the film. And you'll agree if you know Waterson Watterson's, not a guy would ever say later. And then come back to see if you were sure you didn't want to go.
Now, when Watterson leaves, wooderson is gone. He does not stutter. Step, flinch, rewind. Asked twice, or solicit. You know what I'm talking about. Waterson has better things to do. Like like in those high school girls, man. Because I get older and they stay the same a. The point is, I should not have been in that seat. Shouldn't come back. Should have excellent screen lift and never come back. But back then, making my first film, getting invited back to the set, cashing that check and having a ball.
I wanted more screen time. I wanted to be in the scene longer and more and come back into the scene. Right. But I should have been there. wooderson shouldn't have been there.
It is just as important. Where we are not as it is where we are. Look, the first step that leads to our identity life. Is usually not. I know who I am. I know who I am. That's not the first step. The first steps usually. I know who I am not.
Process of elimination. Defining ourselves by what we are not is the first step that leads us to really knowing who we are.
You know, that group of friends that you hang out with and they really might not bring out the best in you. You know, they gossip too much or they're kind of shady. They really aren't going to be there for you in a pinch. How about that bar that we keep going to that we always seem to have the worst hangover from? Or that computer screen. Right. That computer screen that keeps giving us an excuse not to get out of the house and engage with the world and gets real human interaction.
I bet that food that would keep even the stuff that tastes so good going down makes us feel like crap the next week. We feel a Tajik would keep putting on weight. Well, those people, those places, those things, stop giving them your time and energy. Just don't go there. I mean, put them down. And when you do this, when you do put them down and you quit, go in there and you quit giving them your time.
You inadvertently find yourself spending more time and in more places. That are healthy for you, that bring you more joy. Why? Because you just eliminated the who's the where's the what's in the wind that were keeping you from your identity?
Trust me, too many options. I promise that too many options will make a tyrant of us all. I so get rid of the excess, the wasted time, decrease your options. If you do this, you will have accidentally, almost innocently put in front of you. What is important to you? By process of elimination. No one who we are is hard. It's hard to give yourself a break. Eliminate who you are not. First, you're going to find yourself where you need to be.
MRC's. Don't leave crumbs. And the beauty of delayed gratification. So what are crumbs or the crumbs I'm talking about? Are the choices that we make that make us have to look over our shoulder in the future? You didn't pay that guy back the money that you owed him, and tonight you just saw him three rows behind you. She ate you slept around on your spouse and you just found out that tomorrow she and the lady are having an affair with are gonna be at the same PTA meeting.
Shit again. You drank too much last night. You're too hung over to drive your Sundays. 8:00 a.m. Saturday morning. Baseball practice. These are the crumbs. They come in the form of regret, guilt and remorse. You leave trumps today. They will cause you more stress tomorrow. And they disallow you from creating a customized future in which you do not have to look over your shoulder.
So let's flip the script instead of creating outcomes that take from us. Let's create more outcomes that pay us back. Fill us up. Keep your fire lit. Turn you on.
For the most amount of time in your future. These are the choices I'm talking about. And this is the beauty of delayed gratification to yourself.
Do yourself a favor. Make the choices, the purchases today that pay you back to MA residuals. In my business, we got a mailbox money. I do my job well today, and that movie keeps rerunning on TV. Five years from now, I'm getting checks in the mail box. A heck of a deal. So whether it's prepping the coffeemaker the night before. So all you've got to do is press the button in the morning or getting ready for the job interview early.
So you don't have to cram the night before or choose not to hook up with that married woman because, you know, you're gonna feel horrible about it tomorrow and your husband carries a gun or paying your debts on time so that when you do see that guy three rows back tonight, you don't have to hunker down in your seat hoping that he doesn't see you get some auro eye.
You know what that is?
Return on investment, your investment. You customize your future. Don't leave crumbs. Number seven, dissect your successes and the reciprocity of gratitude. We so often focus on failure, don't we? We studied failure. Obsessed with failure, we dissect. Failure and our failures. Dissect them so much, we end up intoxicated with them to the point of disillusion. When we write in our diary, usually when we're depressed, what are we gossip about other people's flaws and limitations and we can dissect ourselves into self-loathing if we're not careful.
I find that most of the times our obsession with what is wrong just ends up breeding more wrong, more failure. The easiest way to dissect success. It's true gratitude. Giving thanks for that, which we do have for what is working. Appreciating the simple things we sometimes take for granted, we give thanks for these things and that gratitude reciprocate, creating more to be thankful for. It's really simple and it worked. Now, I'm not saying be in denial of your failures.
Now we can learn from them, too. But only if we look at them constructively as a means to reveal what we are good at. We can get better at what we do succeed at. Personally, I've read a whole lot of my bad reviews. I've had quite a few. Written. By the more talented critics, they are the ones who give constructive bad reviews. They reveal to me what did translate in my work. What came across, what was seen or what was it?
Now, I don't obsess on the unfavorable aspect of their view review, but I do see what I can learn from it because their displeasure actually uncovers and makes more parent. What I do too well, what I am successful at. And then I discovered that. I Lifeson verb. We try our best. We don't always do our best. Architecture is a verb as well. Yes, it is.
And since we are the architects of our own lives, let's study the habits, the practices, the routines that we have that lead to and feed our success, our joy, our honest pain, our laughter, our own tears. Let's dissect that and give thanks for those things. And when we do that, guess what happened? We get better, Adam, and we have more to dissect. Number eight. Make voluntary obligations. My mom and dad, since we were young, they teach us things as children.
Teachers, mentors, the government and on laws, they all give us guidelines for which to navigate this life. Rules to abide by in the name of accountability. I'm not talking about those obligations. I'm talking about the ones that we make with ourselves. With our guard, with our own consciousness, I'm talking about the you vs. you obligations we have to have. Now, again, these are not societal laws and expectations that we acknowledge and endow for anyone other than ourselves.
These are faith based obligations that we make on our own. These are not the lowered insurance rates for a good driving record. You will not be fined or put in jail if you do not gratify these obligations I speak of no one else governs these but you. They are your secrets with yourself, your own private counsel, personal protocols. And while nobody throws you a party when you abide by them, no one's going to arrest you when you break them either.
Except yourself. Or some cops who got to disturbing the peace call at 2:30 in the morning because you were playing bongos on your birthday suit. That was me.
And on this man's pillow is his peace of mind.
And when you lay down on that pillow at night, no matter who's in your bed, we all sleep alone. These are your personal Jiminy Cricket, and there are not enough cops in the entire world to police them. It's on you. It's all on you. Number nine from Cannes to want to check this out. Nineteen ninety five. I got my first big paycheck as an actor I think was one hundred and fifty grand. The film is almost boys on the side and we shoot in Tucson, Arizona, and I had this sweet little Adobe GUEST house on the edge of the Swallow National Park.
The house came with a maid, my first maid. It was awesome. So I got a friend over one Friday night. We're having a good time. And I'm telling her about how happy I am with my setup. The house, the maid, especially the maid. I'm telling our look, this lady, she cleans the place up after I go to work, she washes my clothes, the dishes, puts fresh water by my bed, leaves me cooked meals, sometimes she even presses my G-d.
My friends, she smiles at me, happy that I'm excited over this. And she says, well, that's great, Matthew. If you like your jeans pressed and I looked up better, my Maija caught hanging open. I stuttered a moment, had that dumb ass slip that you get when you just been told the truth and you didn't think about it. And it hit me. I hate that line. Going down the front, my jeans. I hate that line.
And it was then for the first time that I noticed it. I had never thought about not liking that starts lined on the front of my jeans because I never had a maid damages before and since she did. Now, for the first time in my life, I just liked it because I could get it.
I never thought about it. I really wanted it. Well, I didn't want it there. That line. And that night, I learned something. Just because you can now. Come on. It's not a good enough reason to do some, even when it means having more, be discerning, choose it because you want it, do it because you want to. Never our imagines pressed again. I hate that lie. Number 10. A roof is a manmade thing.
This may cut a little close to the bone since the geography, but I think we all were there and we will all remember where we were in January 3rd. Nineteen ninety three was the NFL playoffs and your Houston Oilers for playing the Buffalo Bills. Oh, there's rub. Twenty eight to three at halftime. Thirty five to three early in the third. Frank, break in the bills, come back to win forty one to thirty eight and overtime for one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history.
They had the bills won, but they didn't really beat the Oilers.
The others lost that game. They beat themselves. You'll remember them. Why? Why they beat themselves or how. Was it because at halftime they put a ceiling? A roof. A limit on their belief in themselves, a.k.a. the prevent defense. Maybe they started thinking about the next opponent in the playoffs at halftime. I mean, they were up and they came out, played on their heels, lost the mental edge the entire second half and voila.
They lost in a mere two quarters. Defensive coordinator Jim Eddy went from being called the defensive coordinator of the year and the man first in line to be a high head coach next year. To a man without a job, an NFL. You have a child. Nobody has ever choked. I have, you know, talking about fumbling the goal line second foot in your mouth once you got to the microphone, had a brain freeze on the exam that you were totally prepared for.
Forgot the punchline to a joke in front of 4000 graduating students at the University Houston commencement.
Or maybe you've had that feeling of, oh, my God. Life just cannot get any better than this moment. And ask yourself, do I deserve this? Now, what happens when we get that feeling? You tense up. We have this sort of out-of-body experience where we are literally three seeing ourself in the third person and we realize that the moment just got bigger than us, never felt that way. I have. And it's because we have created a fictitious ceiling, a roof to our expectations of ourselves, a limit where we think it's all too good to be true.
But it's not. And it's not our right to say or believe it is. We shouldn't create these restrictions on ourselves. A blue ribbon, a statue, a score, a great idea, the love of our life, a euphoric bliss.
Who are we to think that we don't deserve or haven't earned these gifts when we get them? It's not all right. But if we stay in process within ourselves, in the joy of doing. We will never choke at the finish line. Why? Because we aren't thinking of the finish line. We're not looking at the clock. We're not watching ourselves on the Jumbotron performing the very act that we're in the middle of. No, we're in process. The approach is the destination and we are never finished.
Bo Jackson, what do you do use to run over the goal line through the end zone and up the tunnel? The greatest snipers and marksmen in the world, they don't aim at the target. They aim on the other side of the target. We do our best when our destinations are beyond the measurement. When our reach continually exceeds our grasp. And when we have immortal finish lines. And when we do this, the race is never over. The journey has no port.
The adventure never ends because we are always on the way. So do this, do this and let them let somebody else come up and tap you on the shoulder and say, Hey, you scored. Let them run up and tap you on the show and say, man, you won. Let them come tell you. You go home now. Let them say, I love you, too. Let them say thank you. Take the lid off the manmade roofs that we put above ourselves and always play like an underdog.
Here we go. Number eleven, turn the page. The late great University of Texas football coach Darrell Royal. All remember him, one national champion in 69, he won a couple of national championships and lardaro. He was a friend of mine, a good friend of many people. Now, a lot of people looked up to this man. One of you looked up to him was a musician named Larry. Now, at this time in his life, Larry was in the prime of his country music career.
He had number one hits and his life was rolling and he had it picked up a bad habit of snorting the white stuff. Somewhere along the line and at one particular party, after a bathroom break, Larry went confidently up to his mentor, Darrell, and he started telling the story. Oh, Troy, listen, as he always had. And when Larry finished his story and was about to walk away, Coach Royal put a gentle hand on his shoulder and he very discreetly said, Hey, Larry, you got something on the on your nose there.
But. Larry immediately hurried to the bathroom mirror where he saw some of the white powder that he hadn't cleaned up his nose. He was ashamed. He was embarrassed as much because he felt so disrespectful to coach Royal and as much because he'd obviously gotten too comfortable with the drug, even hide it as well as he should. Well, the next day, Larry went to Coach's house. He rang the doorbell. Coach answered and his head coach, I need to talk to you.
Dale said, sure, come on in. Larry confessed. He purged his sins to coach, he told him how embarrassed he was and how he had lost his way in the midst of all this fame and fortune. And towards the end of an hour, Larry, who was in tears. He asked her. She said. What do you think I should do? Koch, being a man of few words, just looked at him and call me, said.
Larry. I have never had any trouble. Turning the page in the book of my life. Larry got sober that day and he's been sober for the last 40 years. You ever get in a rut? You know, I'm talking about you get a funk stuck on the merry go round of a bad habit. I have. But we're gonna make mistakes. You got to own them. Then you got to make a mint and then you got to move on.
Guilt and regret kills many a man of their time. So turn the page. Get off the ride. You are the author of The Book of Your Life. Turn that page. I'm itwell. Give your obstacles credit. You know, there's no fear. T shirts that were out. I don't know. He used to wear em 10 years ago. No fear. You may remember those are just me. I saw him everywhere. Right. I don't get them and I never did.
I mean, I try to scare myself at least once a day. I mean, I get butterflies every morning before I go to work. I was nervous before I got here to speak tonight.
I think fear is a good thing. Now why? Because it increases our need to overcome that fear. Not to say you're off is fear of rejection. You want to ask her out or you want to ask him out, but you fear that he or she may say no. Do you want to ask your boss for that promotion, but you're scared he's gonna think you're overstepping your bounds? Well, instead of denying those fears, declare him say the fear out loud.
Admit it. Give them the credit they deserve.
Don't get all macho and act like they're no big deal.
And don't get paralyzed by denying that they exist and therefore abandoning your need to overcome them.
I mean, I'd even subscribe to believe that we're all destined to have to do the thing that we fear the most anyway. At some point. So give you obstacles, credit, and you will, one, find the courage to overcome them or you will to see more clearly that they're not really worth prevailing over. So be brave. Have courage, and when you do, you get stronger, you get more aware, you get more respectful of yourself and that which you fear.
Number 13. So how do we know when we cross the truth? Thirty. 13 was asking, why did I pick 30? That's an unlucky number. Well, I don't know when 13 got the bad rap and became the mongrel of numerology. It's never done me wrong. 13, in fact, 13 has been a pretty lucky number for me. And I want to tell you how. I've always taken these 21 day trips by myself to far off places where I usually don't know the language and nobody knows my name.
Their adventures one. But they're also a purge. They're a cleanse for me.
They'd like a 21 day fast from attention, from all the things I have in my well-appointed life. They're a check out so I can check in with me, see how I'm doing. Be forced to be my own and my only company to have a look in my mirror. And we all know what can happen when we do that. Sometimes we do not like what we see. Well, in 1996, right after I got famous from a film I did called The Time to Kill, I.
I headed out on one of these 21 day walk about this time to the jungles in the mountains of Peru. The sudden fame that I just gotten was somewhat unbalancing. My face was everywhere. Everyone wanted a piece of me. People I'd never met were swearing that they loved me. Everywhere I went there I was on a billboard, a magazine cover.
It was it was just weird over a haul.
You know, as I was asked myself, what's the reality in this in which the bullshit. Did I deserve all this? These are all questions I was asked myself. Who was I was another. Now there's always an initiation period with these trips, an amount of time that it takes for the place to initiate the traveler, the time it takes to disconnect from the world that we just left and become completely present. And the one we are traveling in now.
For me, that initiation period usually lasts about 13 days, 13 hellish days until I am out of my own way.
After that, the whole trip is really fun and smooth sailing. Well, it was the night of the 12th day. My 21 day trip I'm settling into camp had already hiked 80 miles to this point and I had a three day trek adamy to Machu Picchu and I was full on of myself wrestling with the loss of man and Dimity. I was guilt ridden for the sins of my past, had a lot of regret. I was lonely, disgusted with my company, mine, and I was doing a pretty good job of mentally beating the shit out of myself.
A grappling with these demons on this night. I couldn't sleep. All of these badges and banners and expectations and anxieties that I was carrying with me.
I needed to free myself from all who was out myself. I mean, not only on this trip, but in this life.
So I stripped down enough and I took every moniker that gave me pride and confidence. All the window dressings, the packaging around the product, I discarded them all. I got rid of my lucky and faithful American cap. I stripped off all my talismans from adventures past. I even discarded my late father's gold ring with an M on it that he gave to me. It was a meltdown of my mom's class rings and gold from my mom's teeth. Even got rid of that.
I was naked, literally and figuratively, and I got sick.
So sweat. I grew up in. Now, a few hours later, I awoke on this 13th morning to a rising sun, surprisingly fresh and energized address made some tea and I went from my.
Not toward the destination Machu Picchu, but rather to nowhere in particular. My gut was still a bit piqued from last night's purge, but I curiously felt good, felt alive, felt clean, I felt free and light long, a muddy path on this walk.
I turned a corner and there in the middle of the road was was this mirage, the most magnificent pinks and blues and red colors that I'd ever seen.
It was electric, glowing and vibrant, just hovering just off the surface of the jungle floor, as if it was plugged into some neon powerplant.
I stopped. I stared.
There's no way around it. The jungle floor in front of me was actually thousand of butterflies there in my path. It was spectacular. So I stayed away. And somewhere in my captivation, I heard this little voice inside my head.
Say these words. All I want is what I can see. And all I can see is what's in front of me now at that moment, for the first time in this trip, I had stopped anticipating what was around the corner for the first time. I stopped thinking about what was coming up next, what was up ahead? Time slowed down. I was no longer in a rush to get anywhere and my anxieties were greatly eased. Few hours later, I returned to camp, packing for my continued out of my step.
Even the local Sherpas I was traveling with, they they they noticed calling out to me, soit's lose Matteo's voice lose, which means you are light in Spanish. Ze I forgave myself that morning. I let go of the guilt, the weight it was on. My shoulders was lifted, my penance was paid, and I got back in good graces with my God. And I shook hands with myself, my best friend, the one that we're all stuck with anyway, ourselves.
And from that morning on, the adventure was awesome. I was present. I was out of my own way. I was not anticipating next. I was embracing only what was in front of my eyes and giving everything the justice that it deserved. You see, I crossed the truth that morning. Now that I find it, I don't know. I think it found me. Why? Because I put myself in a place to be found. I put myself in a place to receive the truth.
So how do we know when we cross the truth? Well, I think the truth all around us all the time. I mean, I think the answer, you know, it's always right there. Right. There are things all around us. We just don't always see it, but always grasp it. Hear it. Access it. Usually because we're not in the right place to do so. So what do we do first?
I believe we've got to put ourselves in the place to receive the truth. Assuming that we will live in an extremely noisy world with all kinds of frequencies coming at us, we got commitments. We've got deadlines. Fix this. Do that. Plans, expectations. And they all make it hard to get clarity and peace of mind. So we have to consciously put ourselves in places to receive that clarity. Now, that may be prayer, that maybe meditation, that may be a walk about that maybe being in the right company.
A road trip, whatever it is for you. Schedule that time.
Schedule it. So. If we do that, if we hear it, if we put ourselves in place to hear it and we do and it's become clear a truth natural and infinite, then the second part comes, which is to personalize it. Ask yourself how it works for you, how it applies to you personally, why you need it in your life specifically. And if you do that, then comes the third part. Had the patience to internalize it.
And get it from our intellectual head thinking about it and into our bones and our soul and our instinct. Now we cannot rush this part. It does take time. So if we get that far, we've received it, we personalize it and we've internalized it. If we make it that far, then comes the big man. This comes the fun one. Got to have the courage to act on it. Actually take it into our daily lives and practice it to make it an active part of who we are and live it.
And we do that. And if we do that, then we have what I believe is heaven right here on earth. And that's the place where what we want is also just what we need.
I mean, that's the ticket in it. Think about it. I know that's what I want to live.
So while we're here and they're going to run across the Jumbotron, let's make it a place where we break a sweat, where we believe where we enjoy the process of succeeding in the places, in ways that we are fashion to where we don't have to look over our shoulder because we're too busy doing what we're good at, voluntarily keeping our own counsel because we want to travelling towards immortal finish lines. We write our own book, Overcoming Our Fears. We make friends with ourselves.
And that is the place that I'm talking about. Thank you. Good luck. Just a little.